Today, we are excited to open up the Messenger API for Instagram to all developers who are making it possible for brands to offer messaging experiences on Instagram.
Back in October, we began beta testing the Messenger API for Instagram with a group of select businesses of all sizes and developers, giving them new tools to manage their customer communications on Instagram at scale. Now, after a successful beta test, we are globally rolling out the new API features so businesses can integrate Instagram messaging with their preferred applications and workflows, helping them drive more meaningful conversations that increase customer satisfaction, and grow sales.
Instagram is not only a cultural and social hub – it’s a place where people come to discover and connect with brands. 90% of people on Instagram today follow at least one business. Messaging is a big part of this. Whether it’s story replies, Instagram DM’s or mentions, engaging with brands is increasingly appealing for customers and important for businesses.
While building the Messenger API for Instagram, we learned how Messenger and Instagram can continue to bring real value to businesses and people. 30 developers and 700 different brands participated in the Messenger API for Instagram beta. We saw a variety of different use cases emerge for the API, but three key themes stood out to us specifically in these conversations with businesses about the API integration:
- Many businesses want to manage all communications in one place. Today, people are contacting businesses through many different channels – phone calls, emails, posting on pages, sending messages, and more. And we learned from businesses that it’s easiest to manage these all in one place, and with one view. The API allows developers to make it possible for businesses to do this with a single platform. For example, upon implementing the API, Kiehl’s in Malaysia scaled customer conversations that were coming in through different entry points such as Instagram Feed, Instagram Stories, mentions, and Instagram DM’s to make it easier to follow up with people or respond to sales leads. The result led to a 20% conversion rate from consultation to sales.
- Many businesses want to extend their investments in workflows, tools, and people efficiently across channels. Through the Messenger API for Instagram, businesses can leverage the tools and processes they have already put in place to enable more personal conversations and drive valuable outcomes efficiently. These tools are investments that have already been made, so it’s essential that the API integration supports these tools to scale the investments. We worked to make this possible and to ensure businesses can seamlessly integrate messaging for customer care with CRM and order management systems, improving the efficiency of live agents. For instance, Ford Motor in Argentina used the API to improve their customer experience to streamline Instagram messaging into a centralized communications hub. This led to a 2.1X increase in leads generated month-over-month.
- The API helps to deliver a high quality and improved customer experience. When businesses can respond to people quickly and in a personal way, it builds trust and loyalty, turning customers into long-term advocates. Given Instagram’s importance as a product where consumers go to interact with and discover brands, it’s important to be there for those customers, where they already are. For example, with the Messenger API for Instagram, Sephora amplified its ability to be engaged and active, holding faster conversations, resolving queries more easily, and serving customers solely via Instagram. Since the API’s integration, 100% of Sephora’s customers who reach out on Instagram end up actually being served on Instagram and not addressed through a separate channel. Also, it took 15% fewer responses on average to resolve customer inquiries, reducing time spent per inquiry and increasing overall efficiency.
Getting constant feedback and insights from brands and developers during the beta test period has helped us optimize the quality of the API experience.
“We are pleased to be one of the first brands to use the Messenger API for Instagram to help us accelerate our customer service presence through Instagram messaging. After partnering with Sprinklr to integrate the API into our customer workflows, we were able to increase our efficiency by 31% and increase our customer satisfaction score by 9.45 points.” -Sanne Busschots, Global Communications Specialist, H&M
“’We started integrating the Messenger API for Instagram after we were chosen to be one of the first developer partners to participate in the closed beta. As a result, our clients have increased their efficiency in customer communication by saving 40% on its service level agreements on average. Now, we are excited to expand the offer to even more clients, helping them retain and attract new customers through meaningful connections.” -Pietro Bujaldon, Chief Business Officer, smarters
The Messenger API for Instagram will be available to all developers who want to start building on the platform. For business accounts on Instagram wanting access to the Messenger API for Instagram, we will be rolling out access through a phased approach. You can find the most up-to-date information on the launch here.